CIBC LunarFest launch draws a big crowd, including several politicians

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      The arrival of the Lunar New Year brought a bevy of politicians to the Vancouver Art Gallery today (February 3).

      They were there to celebrate the launch of CIBC LunarFest, an 11-day extravaganza coinciding with the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit.

      The organizer, Charlie Wu of the Asian-Canadian Special Events Association, quipped in his introductory remarks that 11 days will be a cakewalk compared to the 37-day long installation of lanterns along Granville Street during Vancouver's 2010 Olympic celebrations.

      In addition to the politicians, a large crowd showed up to witness the world's largest lantern aquarium ever created outside of Taiwan.



      The tent was full at the Vancouver Art Gallery for the launch of CIBC LunarFest.


      Sculptors Hung Hsin-Fu and Chen De Lung, both of whom are famous in Taiwan, were on hand. Hung gave the Straight a tour of the lantern aquarium—known as Paper FantaSea—which featured 300 paper sculptures in a darkened room, recreating the feel of being out in the ocean.



      Hung will be on hand in the tent outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Friday (February 4) between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to demonstrate how he creates his elaborate paper sculptures.


      Two-time NDP candidate and Straight contributor Gabriel Yiu offers a New Year greeting at CIBC LunarFest.